The flight over was fine – I navigated the airports by myself and got myself through passport check and customs, where Jena was waiting to rescue me. I am not sure I would have been able to navigate the two tube stops and bus to get to her house. But she was there, so I didn’t have to.
Yesterday, Thursday the 23rd (still getting my bearings) was, as you’d figure, a jet-lagged blur. Jena and I did get a new sim card for my phone at the 3 shop, where I tried to grossly overpay for a card with unlimited data, but the very nice and super English-sounding young man, made sure I got what I needed and for only £15.
We were on West Hampstead High Street, and of course, there is a used clothing store that Jena takes me in to — and I find the best, most Londony Greatcoat. It is grey wool, with grey satin button covers. And just tatty enough. Nicely used, and missing a button or two here and there. 20-year old me would have killed for this coat. I could’nt leave it there. Although I was doubting my judgement, because I was in a delirium of jet-lag; but in looking at it this morning, I can confirm — excellent coat.
Jena and I decided to go to a pub for a Cider, and went in a fantastically authentic-looking pub. We walked in, and immediately realized it was filled with old men. It was a little too authentic, although if I had not been so disoriented from jet-lag, I would have stayed. It had a coved ceiling, diamond panes in the windows, all dark wood and with the bar jutting into middle of the room. Pull taps, with their long, wooden handles all along the bar. When we walked in, all the pink-faced, large men, swiveled their heads to the door to see who came in. They all seemed to be very tall and right out of a scene from All Creatures Great and Small. A bit of shock registered on some faces. (Strange women! In the pub!) The men were sitting in shallow, high-backed pews, with tiny tables just big enough for two pints. There was no where to left to sit. As we turned to leave, the nearest man out of Central Casting looked at us, and with a hand outstretched, gave a heartfelt plea — Don’t leave! Don’t leave Don’t leave Don’t leave Don’t leave!
If I had not been so exhausted, I would have loved to stayed. I hope he would not have gotten too lecherous too quickly. There is still time to talk to old men in pubs.
We went to the pub across the street, and it was suitably authentic-seeming, and a lovely young punk-girl recommended a delicious lager. Jena and I finally got to have a seat and a chat. I caught her up on most of the Seattle goings-on, and the guy in the next booth also enjoyed hearing my stories.
We met Eric for some Indian food at Gugulies. It was every bit as good as you’d expect Indian food in London to be.
It was 8pm and finally late enough for me to go to bed. Too exhausted to sleep.